Outdoor Services Crew

Thursday, March 31, 2011

It Must Be Springtime!

Today we recieved our first delivery of Washington Red Ceder mulch. We will use approximately 250 cubic yards of mulch during our preperation for graduation. This delivery was 120 cubic yards and came in loose form on a semi-truck.

We will also receive a shipment of the same mulch but in a compressed pallet form. This is a relatively new delivery method and we have quickly adopted using it. It is a great advantage for us to be able to deliver a pallet of mulch to a large landscape bed and not have to make many trips with our small utility vehicles. This saves fuel and time. In the picture below, one of our staff members is standing on top of the mulch pile. As you can see, it is a daunting task for our staff to manually disperse this amount of product.
We have been using Washington Red Ceder for about 5 years now. We spent a great deal of time back then to work through the best type of mulch for our landscape and our environment. As most of you know, there tends to be some wind here in Boulder and we have to constantly clean up mulch from these wind storms. We initially found a great mulch that held up to the wind very well because it was a very fine shredded mulch. We nicknamed it Gorilla Hair. However the first summer we started using it we ran into an unplanned problem. On hot summer days we started to have very frequent landscape bed fires and after the first few we started to work with the Campus Fire Marshall to help determine the cause. It didn't take long for us to discover that unfinished cigarettes were being discarded into the landscape beds and were causing these fires. The finely shredded material knitted together perfectly to help against the wind, but it was also perfect tinder for fire starting. Once we discovered this problem we had to remove all of that type of mulch on campus and go with our second choice of mulch. Washington Red Ceder has been a good product, even with its higher content of shredded material it still falls victim to wind.

No matter what mulch we use, there are wind storms in Boulder that will move mulch around. The Washington Red Ceder holds its own with normal breezy conditions but we wanted a better way to hold the mulch in the beds. After some research we have started to use a product called Mulch Guard. Think of it as a glue that is applied to the mulch after it has been placed. We do not use this product on all our beds, considering it is pretty expensive and very time consuming to apply. We have been using it on our wind prone areas-where the wind tends to compress and speed up through building corridors and corners of buildings.

It is a constant challenge and a very large amount of work but nothing looks better than a freshly mulched landscape bed:-)